Couples who are considering a divorce and who have minor children often wonder if they should stay together “for the sake of the kids” and wait until the children are grown to divorce. There are pros and cons to both views.
Pros of Waiting Until the Children Are Grown
There are some advantages to waiting until the children are grown. The main ones are that you will avoid arguing about child custody and child support issues. You will not have to decide:
- Which parent will have primary custody (conservatorship) and will provide the main home for the children.
- Which parent will have visitation (possession) of the children and how will that work for the children to go back and forth between you and the other parent.
- Where will the children go to school.
- Which parent will pay child support.
- How will the holidays and vacation time from school be divided up between the parents.
If you and your spouse are compatible, and these issues are important to you, it may be in your best interest and the best interest of your children for you to wait until they are grown to divorce.
Cons of Waiting Until the Children are Grown to Divorce
Keep in mind that even adult children are generally upset when they learn their parents are divorcing. Some cons to waiting are:
- Community property law tends to punish savers and reward spenders. Let’s say your spouse tends to overspend and not save for retirement, while you watch your spending and save diligently for retirement. Your spouse may end up awarded half of your retirement while you are awarded half their debt.
- You risk living years with someone you do not love while your own life passes you by all for the “sake of the children.” When they are grown, your children may figure this out and resent you for it.
- It is not healthy for children to grow up in an environment where there is a lack of love between their parents. They cannot learn how to have a healthy relationship if they have not seen one modeled.
- If there are any issues of child abuse or domestic violence, you need to leave that environment for the sake of the children. Staying in a hostile environment is unhealth for parents and children and your children may harbor resentment for many years because you stayed in such a relationship ostensibly for the “sake of the children.”
For more information about divorce, and to see how we can help you through the process, contact our family law attorneys at Springer & Lyle. You may also call us at 940.387.0404.